06 January 2007

Before we leave the manger...

One of the beloved cradlesongs to the Infant Jesus is "Away in a manger," and certainly there isn't a child in the English-speaking world who hasn't lisped his way through this lullaby. I am certain it has found its way into other languages as well. While we are still in the Christmas season, I wanted to share some additional verses as a meditation on the mystery of the Word Made Flesh, resting peacefully in the manger.

Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

Dear Mary, his Mother, sang sweet lullabies,
as Jesus, awaking, gazed into her eyes.
The most holy Virgin, with loving caress
embraced the world’s Saviour with Love’s tenderness.

Good Joseph stood guarding the Mother and Child,
his soul filled with awe and his heart undefiled.
The birth of young Jesus made angels to sing,
but Joseph in silence kept watch o’er his King.

What once was a stable may our hearts become;
may God’s holy fam’ly in us find a home.
With Mary and Joseph and angels above
we worship the Infant, the gift of God’s Love.
.
Text: V.1, Traditional
Vv. 2-4, Fr. Christopher G. Phillips, 1995
Music: Cradle Song, William James Kirkpatrick, (1838-1921)